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Percept Mot Skills. 2013 Feb;116(1):197-209.

Sensory processing and motor skill performance in elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder.

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Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas 78666, USA.


Research to examine both sensory processing and motor skill performance in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited. This study assessed whether children with ASD would show sensory and motor delays compared to typically developing children and examined the relationship between sensory processing and motor performance. 32 children diagnosed with ASD were assessed using the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and the Movement ABC-2 (MABC-2). The SSP measures children's sensory processing in daily life and the MABC-2 measures children's fine and gross motor skill performance. Overall, the samples' scores on the SSP indicated atypical sensory processing and scores on the MABC-2 showed poorer fine and gross motor performance as compared to age-matched norms. Furthermore, the samples' scores for sensory processing were positively correlated with their motor performance. The results suggest that fine and gross motor difficulties of children with ASD may be related to their delayed sensory processing to visual, auditory, tactile, and movement stimuli, and that this hypothesis needs to be tested in future research.

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